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What Is Vitamin B Complex and How Can It Help My Overall Health?

what is vitamin b complex

Did you know that vitamin B complex can help you stay healthy in many ways, such as improving your energy levels? It’s also great for helping you look young since it promotes the health of your skin, nails, and hair cells.

If you’re interested in getting these benefits from taking Vitamin B, then you’re probably asking yourself:

  • “What is vitamin B complex?”
  • “What are the different types of vitamin B?”
  • “What are the benefits of taking vitamin B complex?”

If you’re currently experiencing some health problems, then you might be anxious about making them go away. You might be stressed out about them, and not sure about whether taking vitamin B might help you.

Even if you’re pretty healthy, you still might want to know about how vitamin B can make your health even better.

That’s why we’ve written this article. We’ll answer all the questions you have about vitamin B complex. Once you have all the information you need about vitamin B, you can decide how to take it and be as healthy as possible.

Read on to learn more.

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B complex is a combination of different types of Vitamin B. These types include:

  • Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) 
  • Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B-3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B-7 (biotin)
  • Vitamin B-9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin)

Each of these vitamins has different benefits. When taken together as vitamin B complex, you experience these benefits together. Let’s review each type of vitamin B now so you can understand what benefits you can experience.

B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine is necessary for the processing of food because it converts the nutrients you consume into energy. If you don’t have B1 present in your system, then you might have issues with your metabolism. It occurs naturally in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and pork.

B2 (Riboflavin)

B2 is an antioxidant. It also helps you with the metabolism process by converting the food you consume into energy. You can find B2 in mushrooms, beef, and organ meats in large quantities.

B3 (Niacin)

Niacin helps your body with DNA production, DNA repair, metabolism, and cellular signaling. As you can see, it’s essential for some of your body’s most important functions. You can find B3 in lentils, tuna, and chicken.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

B5, like many of the other B vitamins, also helps you convert the food you consume into energy. Additionally, B5 helps you with the production of cholesterol and hormones. B5 is present in avocado, yogurt, fish, and liver.

B6 (Pyridoxine)

B6 is involved in neurotransmitter creation, the production of red blood cells, and amino acid metabolism. It is incredibly important since other B vitamins do many similar things, but this one does not. B6 appears in potatoes, salmon, and chickpeas.

B7 (Biotin)

B7 is also important for your health. In addition to regulating gene expression, this vitamin also is used for fat and carbohydrate metabolism. You can find B7 in liver, cheese, salmon, eggs, and yeast.

B9 (Folic Acid)

B9 is necessary for many processes in our bodies, such as proper cell division, the creation of white and red blood cells, amino acid metabolism, and cell growth. You can find B12 in folic acid supplements, beans, liver, and leafy greens.

B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 is the most famous B vitamin, which is why many people take this supplement on its own without the other B vitamins. B12 is needed for the development of red blood cells, DNA production, and neurological function. B12 is present in dairy, seafood, eggs, and all types of meats.

The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

Considering that every vitamin B present in vitamin B complex has incredible impacts on the processes of your body, vitamin B has huge benefits when you take it. From the micro to the macro level, you’ll see benefits from taking vitamin B complex that include:

  • Red blood cell growth
  • Cell health
  • Strong eyesight
  • Higher energy levels
  • Brain function that’s healthy
  • A larger appetite
  • Healthy digestion
  • Production of cholesterol and hormones
  • Nerves functioning properly
  • Toned muscles
  • A healthy heart

As you can see from this list, vitamin B complex benefits include having a healthy body that functions as it needs to. Additionally, it can have aesthetic benefits such as a more toned body and benefits for everyday life such as higher energy levels.

Benefits for Women

If you’re a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding, you should most definitely be taking vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex reduces the chance of birth defects and it’s also good for the brain development of your fetus.

Additionally, if you’re expecting, B vitamins can lower the risk of you developing preeclampsia, ease your nausea, and boost your energy levels.

Benefits for Men

If you’re a man who suspects your testosterone has lowered with age, you can benefit from taking B vitamins, since they’re believed to increase testosterone levels. They might also help you increase your strength and build your muscles.

However, keep in mind that there aren’t any studies done on humans that have confirmed this yet.

Recommended Intake of Vitamin B

Depending on the type of vitamin B you’re taking and whether you’re a man or a woman, the recommended intake of vitamin B varies. Additionally, you might be interested in taking a vitamin B complex injection, which is administered differently.

If you’re a woman, here are the recommended daily intakes of different B vitamins:

  • 1.1 milligrams of B-1
  • 1.1 milligrams of B-2
  • 14 milligrams of B-3
  • 5 milligrams of B-5 (keep in mind that the RDA has not been established)
  • 1.3 milligrams of B-6
  • 30 micrograms of biotin (keep in mind that the RDA has not been established)
  • 400 micrograms of folic acid
  • 2.4 micrograms of B-12

As you can see, when it comes to some of the B vitamins and the bottom of this list, you have to consume them in high amounts. For this reason, you’ll want to find a vitamin B complex that has the correct amounts of these B vitamins in it.

If you’re a man, here is the recommended vitamin B complex dosage you should be taking daily:

  • 1.2 milligrams of B-1
  • 1.3 milligrams of B-2
  • 16 milligrams of B-3
  • 5 milligrams of B-5 (keep in mind that the RDA has not been established)
  • 1.3 milligrams of B-6
  • 30 micrograms of biotin (keep in mind that the RDA has not been established)
  • 400 micrograms of folic acid
  • 2.4 micrograms of B-12

In addition to taking supplements, you can also take a vitamin B complex injection. If you choose to take your vitamin B complex this way, speak with your doctor about the right dosage forever.

However, if you want a general idea of how much you should be taking, it’s usually between 0.25 and 2 mL for a complete injection dosage.

Signs of Vitamin B Complex Deficiency

Sometimes, you might find that you’re suffering from a vitamin B complex deficiency. Even though we’re usually able to get the vitamins we need from the food we eat, you should consider taking supplements if your body isn’t getting enough of them from your eating habits.

Signs of a vitamin B complex deficiency include tingling or numbness in your feet or hands, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, irritability, and depression.

Additional signs include confusion, anemia, weakness, fatigue, a swollen tongue, scaly skin on your lips, cracks around the edges of your mouth, and skin rashes.

If you’re experiencing problems such as these, then you should get in touch with your doctor. That way, you can get a test to find out if you have a vitamin B complex deficiency. They can also give you tips on how to improve your diet or recommend which vitamins to take.

Long-Term Effects of a Vitamin B Deficiency

While a vitamin B deficiency might not seem like a big deal in the short term—maybe you’re okay with your energy being slightly lower—it can have big consequences in the long term if ignored. Some of the long-term effects of a vitamin B deficiency include the risk of you developing peripheral neuropathy, infections, skin conditions, digestive problems, or anemia.

You can also be at risk of developing a neuropsychiatric disorder if you have a B-12 deficiency. A deficiency in B-12 might also lead to developing atherosclerosis and hyperhomocysteinemia.

Additionally, babies born with a folic acid deficiency have been shown to be more likely to have developed birth defects while in the womb. Given all this, you should take your potential vitamin B deficiency seriously if you start to see signs of it.

When Supplements Make Sense

Even though you can get many of your B vitamins from having a healthy, balanced diet, there are situations in which it makes sense to take vitamin B complex supplements. Keep in mind, however, that it’s easiest for your body to digest B vitamins if they come in food form.

With that said, what if you aren’t good at getting vitamins into your meals because it takes additional preparation and meal planning? Taking supplements to add to what you’re eating might make the most sense.

If you have a vitamin B deficiency that’s been confirmed by your doctor, then you should definitely take supplements. Because you’ve been speaking to your doctor about this, they can help you decide what dosage is best for you.

Additionally, they can let you know if you need to take vitamin B complex or specific B vitamins on their own.

You are also more likely to need vitamin B supplements if you have a vegan diet, have a vegetarian diet, have a chronic health condition that affects your vitamin B intake, are pregnant, or are fifty years old or older.

Natural Sources of Vitamin B

Fortunately, there are many natural sources of vitamin B. You can find this vitamin in many of the foods we consume regularly. Some of these foods include cheese, milk, liver and kidney, eggs, meat like red meat and chicken, and fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna.

Additionally, you can find vitamin B in shellfish like clams and oysters, vegetables like avocados and beets, dark green vegetables like kale and spinach, cereals and whole grains, seeds and nuts, and in beans like chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans.

You can also find vitamin B in soy products like tempeh and soy milk, fruits like citrus and banana, wheat germ, blackstrap molasses, nutritional yeast, and yeast.

As you can see, vitamin B can be found almost everywhere. If you enjoy having a varied, healthy diet, then you should be able to get your vitamin B easily. If you still find that you have an issue getting enough vitamin B, then you can always supplement with supplements.

If you choose to do this, speak with your doctor to be sure that you aren’t getting too much vitamin B.

Need More Information?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is vitamin B complex?” you might need additional information. Maybe you want to find out about recipes you can make to up your natural vitamin B intake. Or maybe you want to learn about what supplements or injectables are available.

Whatever you need, we’re here to help. At Supplementor, we’re experts when it comes to vitamins and other supplements. We also sell many types of supplements and vitamins that can improve your health.

Click here to view our complete line of vitamins and supplements.

These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

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